Fort Lauderdale, Florida – The anticipation surrounding the forthcoming mixed-use development on the 1200 block of Sistrunk Boulevard is reminiscent of the unveiling of a historical landmark.
Sistrunk Boulevard, previously referred to as Six Street, once functioned as a bustling artery of the Black community in Fort Lauderdale, symbolizing a hub of Black entrepreneurship, a haven for Black-owned businesses, and an avenue of Black pride and respect.
“After years of neglect that led to Black flight, new businesses and developments are restoring hope for the future,” said Dennis Wright, president of Wright Dynasty, LLC., the developer of the new mixed-use project.
Wright Dynasty, LLC. has been granted Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) funding by the City of Fort Lauderdale City Commission to aid in the creation of a six-story, mixed-use complex. The plan includes 27 residential apartments, five commercial units, two stories of covered parking, an active rooftop, two community spaces, and a host of additional amenities.
Wright Dynasty is unwavering in its commitment to create a building that is not only aesthetically appealing and environmentally conscious but also one that pays homage to the rich history and legacy businesses of the local Black community.
Before the building plans were finalized, Dennis Wright convened with Troy Walker, a descendant of the original owners of Walker’s Grocery Store, to discuss their shared vision for the site. Wright and Walker, both of whom have family histories deeply intertwined with the Sistrunk corridor, are optimistic about its redevelopment. Wright’s grandmother, Helen Wright Morris, was the owner of Helen’s Nursery, one of Broward County’s first day care centers for Black children. Her commitment to the education and care of Black children in Fort Lauderdale spanned over four decades.
Troy Walker, reflecting on his family’s legacy, stated, “My grandparents, Beatrice and Willie Walker, started this grocery business in 1938 across the street from its current location. We served the Sistrunk corridor for 80 years with the intent to help Black families who needed a local grocery store within walking distance and one where they could purchase groceries on credit between paychecks. I remember my grandfather always giving back to the community in ways that could economically impact our family, but he just wanted to be a blessing to all he encountered. So, I am happy and pleased that Dennis Wright, as he said he would, has decided to keep the Walker Family legacy alive through the acquisition of the property. To join in this effort with Wright Dynasty to bring housing options and opportunities for families and businesses to once again thrive on the Sistrunk corridor is indeed a monumental upgrade for Northwest Broward community.”
Dennis Wright added, “Revitalizing the Sistrunk corridor is a dream that I have had for a long time. Although, revitalizing a once blighted area can be a daunting challenge, my appreciation for the challenges that were overcome by Blacks during segregation, propels me to stay the course for the sake of legacy and history. Our history is about our past accomplishments; our legacy is our future impact.”
The rejuvenation of the Sistrunk corridor presents an advantageous proposition for the entire county. Anticipated benefits include improved access to affordable and workforce housing, local job creation, community amenities, supportive services, and an enhanced quality of life. The local community has shown keen interest in this redevelopment project, expressing enthusiasm to conduct business locally.
Wright Dynasty’s development is one of several forthcoming opportunities for families and businesses that appreciate the preservation of a rich historical legacy while also envisioning a promising future.